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Anti-judiciary speeches: Chief justice reconstitutes full bench – Pakistan

LAHORE: Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali has reconstituted a full bench to hear petitions against anti-judiciary speeches of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and other leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi will head the new bench with Justice Atir Mahmood and Justice Shahid Mubeen. The bench will resume hearing on Monday (tomorrow).

The previously constituted bench stood dissolved after the issuance of new roster of the judges working at all seats of the high court. As per the new roster, Justice Shahid Bilal Hassan, who was earlier part of the full bench, has been transferred to Multan seat. The chief justice reconstituted the full bench by replacing Justice Hassan with Justice Mubeen. The previous bench had not taken up the petitions so far.

The petitions moved by Amina Malik, Munir Ahmad and others mainly contend that the PML-N leadership has been making derogatory speeches against the judges of the Supreme Court since the verdict of Mr Sharif’s disqualification in Panama case.

They say the Pemra has been willfully allowing broadcasting of hate speeches, defamatory and contemptuous remarks on television channels as it took no action to enforce its code of conduct and the rules.

They states the Pemra has failed to act as an independent regulator rather become a subordinate body of the government.

Petitioners argue the Pemra officials needed to realise that they are not working on the PML-N’s payroll and have to protect citizens of Pakistan and the institutions in every regard.

They ask the court to order Pemra to restrain media houses from airing anything against the laws and offensive to the state institutions.

Published in Dawn, April 1st, 2018

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